FreedomWorks president: Boehner at risk of splitting caucus
December 4th, 2012
03:41 PM ET
2 years ago

FreedomWorks president: Boehner at risk of splitting caucus

(CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner introduced the GOP's deficit-reduction proposal Monday, but not all Republicans are fully behind the offer–including the president of the conservative group FreedomWorks.

"I think (Boehner) is negotiating with himself," Matt Kibbe told CNN on Tuesday. "I wish Republicans would lay out a more substantial vision."

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The GOP plan promises $2.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade, including $800 billion in revenue from tax reform, $600 billion from Medicare reforms and other health savings and $600 billion in other spending cuts.

It also pledges $200 billion in savings by revising the consumer price index, a measure of inflation.

Republicans said the offer is based on a proposal last year by Erskine Bowles, a Democrat who co-chaired a bipartisan deficit-reduction panel appointed by Obama in 2010. Bowles, however, discounted the GOP plan Monday, saying it reflected his view a year ago but "circumstances have changed since then."

For his part, Kibbe said the plan does not go far enough in spending cuts. The fiscal conservative said Republicans "are getting away with murder" because they're not offering "specifics" in entitlement cuts. "I think Boehner is at risk of splitting his caucus," he added.

The GOP plan, however, did delve into some details Monday, by offering to raise the eligibility age for Medicare, for example.

Kibbe also took issue with efforts to forestall the sequester, a massive amount of spending cuts ($1.2 trillion) set to start kicking in at the beginning of next year if Congress fails to reach an agreement. Whether or not they come up with a plan, Kibbe argued the cuts should still happen.

"They've got to cut spending. These are nominal cuts, these are not draconian cuts," Kibbe said. "This is a slight haircut."

His comments come as the group faces a high-profile departure from its former chairman, Dick Armey, who recently resigned.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • FreedomWorks • John Boehner
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Let me get this straight. If an elected official does not fall in line with the ideology and goals of a recretive group of unelected people with special interests, then that politician is at fault for ..... whatever the secretive group wishes to call it. Is that correct? Never mind that the official is supposed to represent the people, not some special interests who wish to remain anonymous and yet threaten the elected official. Is that correct?

    December 4, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Larry in Houston

    Two of the most conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives have been kicked off the House Budget Committee, a rare move that could make it easier for the panel to advance a deal with Democrats to cut fiscal deficits.

    Representatives Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan – both favorites of the anti-tax Tea Party movement – are among those Republicans voting most often AGAINST House Speaker John Boehner.

    Huelskamp and Amash, who both will begin second terms in the House next month, voted against last year's deal to raise the federal debt limit and staunchly oppose any tax increases. Boehner has now included new revenue in his latest offer to avert the "fiscal cliff" of year-end tax hikes and automatic spending cuts. Given their voting records, winning support from Huelskamp and Amash for such a compromise seemed an uphill battle.

    Huelskamp released a statement saying the Republican leadership "might think they have silenced conservatives but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions"

    "This is clearly a vindictive move and a sure sign that the GOP establishment cannot handle disagreement," he said.

    It's amazing, the republicans "in-fighting" I guess when they dis-agree with one another, they Fight and argue – sort of like the fox network does.

    December 4, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "His comments come as the group faces a high-profile departure from its former chairman, Dick Armey, who recently resigned."

    You know it isn't going well for TeaPer "freedom" when Dick Armey resigns his post as lead TP freedom fighter. I'd feel sorry for Boehner if he hadn't used the TeaPers to continue their attack on President Obama back when the country needed to come together after one of the worst recessions in American history ... caused in part by Boehner himself. Now, when he no longer wants TeaPer support, he can't get rid of them for fear he will be primaried come 2014. Many of us knew this day would come. I'm enjoying the skirmish.

    Got my popcorn bowl all washed and ready to go.

    December 4, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Linda Rogers

    Get Rid Of BOEHNER and get someone with BALLS

    December 4, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Linda Rogers

    Get rid of BOEHNER and get someone with GUTS

    December 4, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. ind2012

    It makes sense for those who feel they are the true conservatives to walk away and try it on their own. They know they hate Democratic values, they now feel rejected by Republican Party values. First Romney was not a real Conservatives choice, now more 'back of the bus' tactics from the main stream Republican party, Gentlemen it is time to strike out on your own. Raise your own money, nominate your own candidates, and go for it. While I sincerely hope you fail miserably, it really is the right thing for you to do and you know in your hearts that at least an honest opinion. .

    December 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    If only we could get Megyn Kelly to go down the hall to the magic numbers guys to help the rest of the GOP/Teatrolls climb out of the dumpster of denial like she helped poor, addled, freaking-out Turdblossom on election night....

    December 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Jack

    In the good ole days if party members dissed their leader they got squat in return. If Boehner is to make a deal he will have to compromise. If he has to compromise he will have to get his gang on board. Anyone who doesn't get on board should pay the price. No earmarks, no plush assignments, no extras for their state. If you're going to run a party you gotta be tough, fearless and deal out punishment. It's easy to be a strict ideologue. It's tough to be a real politician (you have to compromise and make deals.)

    December 4, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Emma in Baltimore

    "These are nominal cuts, these are not draconian cuts," Kibbe said.
    LOL!

    December 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Obama has split the USA and now he is working (sucessfully) in splitting the edcuated party.

    December 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. ryan85oh

    "Boehner at risk of splitting caucus"

    Now that just sounds downright painful >_<

    December 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. 2012liberal

    Bohner had a grand deal with the prez last year. Give teaparty the bird! It's yr legacy as speaker Bohner. What will YOU make of it?

    December 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. 2012liberal

    Bohner had a grand deal with the prez last year. Give teaparty the bird! It's yr legacy as speaker Bohner. What will YOU make of it? Who's leading what?

    December 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. Name RJ

    I think that you should leave the Speaker alone and start noticing that our President is spending way too much of our money. Start talking about Obama's spending instead of calling the Republican Party Scrooge b/c I feel that Obama is being Scrooge. Prime example he the people of Staten Island a false hope promised them that he would cut the red tape and that he would be back well, since the election he has failed those people. I think instead of going Hawaii that he should be working with Congress & FEMA and start acting like a Commander in Chief.

    December 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Hogan's Goat

    This guy is a sad sack of shift who needs to be set out by the curb for the garbageman. What were you people THINKING electing a gargoyle like that? Heck, he was still orange from Halloween when you elected him.

    December 4, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Facts don't Lie

    a house against it's self will NOT stand. Look out below Republicans!

    December 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Jon

    Good....I hope Boehner DOES split his caucus. Leave the Tea Partiers behind...let's face it...they don't like the federal gov't at all, let alone tax increases.

    Speaker Boehner needs to realize he is Speaker of the House. His job is NOT to get 100% of his caucus, his job is to pass legislation with at least 218 votes...regardless of what side of the aisle he can find them. There is another individual called "majority leader", let HIM worry about keeping the caucus together.

    If the Speaker will step up to the plate, make sure the House functions and passes good bi-partisan legislation, he'll hold that gavel for years to come.

    December 4, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. bfd007

    Another fine example of how WE THE PEOPLE have NO representation and have not for a very long time, most in government think of people as cannon fodder and are only worried about more power and more money, other wise we may hear of all in government taking pay cuts all foreign aid stopped, (and not over ten years) company's paying their fare share but alas it is government before people!

    December 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. BowFu

    Get rid of BOEHNER get something done

    December 4, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Substantive? The GOP? Those words are mutually exclusive of each other. The only substantive conservatives are dead or have been drumme out of the movement by such intellectual paupers as Sarah Palin, whose vocabulary is limited to the word " Wuss" these days.

    December 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Marie

    Let the imploding and purging continue. The Republicans cannibalizing their own while trying to maintain a ridiculous fascade of solidarity to the majority of Americans who rejected their insanity on Nov 6th is like a SNL skit on Viagra, Steroids and Xanax. Awww....to see our tax dollars hard at work paying for those doing good for the country. Not.

    December 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. TheVoice2

    The ultra rich have bought themselves a party called the GOP, and Grover Norquist is their "hit man".

    I never thought I would see Democracy in American being ran by a Mob.

    December 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. CBR

    It appears that the Republicans are not unified and there are factions which are opposed to Speaker Boehner and his leadership team. They do not seem to think of anyone but themselves.

    December 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Larry L

    Republicans need to cleanse themselves of the Tea Party and the Fox News hate media crowd. The last election proved the people who support such extreme right-wing ideologies can't keep the GOP alive. As American demographics continues to shift away from angry, white, right-wing bigots, the Republican Party becomes more and more irrelevant.

    December 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. ja

    all you self serving $$%^& need to get with the program, how the hell can you be worth a million dollars pay less in tax than someone earning a pence of your million dollar earnings, you call yourselves patriots, bs, simply put self serving sobs, all the sham organizations with fake catchy names, tea party, freedom works, etc are a disgrace to those catchy words

    December 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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